She plays a straight-up minister's daughter on the gentle, intelligently written television hit 7th Heaven, but teen actress Jessica Biel wants off the show - and she's posing next to nude in Gear to facilitate it.

She says it right out in an interview to go with the March issue photo feature. "I hope so," Biel says. "I'm leaving, period. I'll find a way to get killed if I have to." But Aaron Spelling Productions, who produces the show, says she's not going to be released any time soon.

Biel would be following Melissa Joan Hart, the Sabrina, the Teenage Witch star who tried for an image adjustment with seminude photographs in Maxim and Bikini. Other teen or young stars who used sexy photo layouts to grab extra attention - or get demands met - include former Who's The Boss co-star Alyssa Milano, now a film star; and, notoriously, Shannen Doherty, at the crest of the controversy over her on-set behaviour while portraying Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210.

Biel appears on Gear's March cover in a bikini bottom and nothing else, with the photographs inside showing even more of the 18-year-old actress.

The post-coital hair and come-hither pout, as the New York Post describes the image in the photographs, contrast Biel's role as basketball-playing teenager Mary Camden on 7th Heaven.

Gear publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. says Biel approached the magazine herself. "She said, and I'm paraphrasing, 'I want to change my image. I want people to think of me as a woman, not a little girl'," says the publisher and son of Penthouse mastermind Bob Guccione.

Biel's gripe is that 7th Heaven, a gentle drama about a contemporary minister's family, has typecast her as a goody-two-shoes and gets her passed over for roles in the more sophisticated teen movies now running somewhat rampant out of Hollywood, the Post says - including Thora Birch in American Beauty, a role for which she auditioned.

Aaron Spelling Productions says Biel's under contract to the show for two more years, and that she won't be released from her contract.